Blue Peter Book Club live takes off in Manchester Central Library

  • Tuesday 7 May 2024

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Image of the Blue Peter Book Club Live poster

Blue Peter Book Club Live launches at Manchester Central Library Saturday 18 May. A free event for families and children 10am - 4pm. The launch of Manchester’s Blue Peter Book Club Badge Trail.

Book lovers are in for a treat at Manchester Central Library later this month. 

Blue Peter, the BBC's iconic children’s TV series is partnering with Manchester Libraries and The Reading Agency on an exciting new project – Blue Peter Book Club Live. 

It launches in Manchester Central Library on Saturday 18 May with a fun-filled, free event, open to all and the chance to meet Blue Peter presenters Abby, Joel, and Shini along with Henry the Blue Peter Dog.  

Discover the brilliant books in the Blue Peter Book Club and celebrate the joy and adventure of reading with guest authors Eve Ainsworth and the Children’s Laureate Joseph Coelho.  

Families and children will also be able to join CBeebies presenters George Webster and Gyasi Sheppi for magical story times and enchanting escapades.  

A book inspired art-installation created by 10,000 local school children, creative crafts, special story times, masses of books and a chance to meet some magical classic book characters will make it a day of adventure and fun where classic stories come to life in the library. 

Meet book characters to journey into Wonderland with Alice and the Mad Hatter, enter the whimsical world of Willy Wonka and Violet as well as Peter Pan and the dastardly Captain Hook in his pirate ship! 

The Blue Peter Book Club Badge Trail also launches on the day which challenges children to discover special Blue Peter badges on display in 12 different cultural venues across Manchester, with a bonus badge in the Blue Peter Garden in Salford.  

A special trail map will be available to guide curious minds to the various locations, where each badge will be decorated to celebrate one of 12 books in the Blue Peter Book Club.  Each badge has a letter, find them all to create three special names and be in with a chance to win a prize. 

Children will also be able to discover the Blue Peter Book Club booklist in unexpected settings as part of a series of "Book Hunt" events in Manchester parks and open spaces over the summer. 

Libraries and schools across the UK can also join in with Blue Peter Book Club Live using activity packs and reading resources developed by The Reading Agency to create a nationwide celebration. The Blue Peter Book Club Live is supported through funding from the Arts Council England’s National Lottery Project Grants programme. 

Blue Peter Book Club Live will have a major presence on broadcast and digital. A special episode Blue Peter Book Club Live will be shown on CBBC and BBC iPlayer, 5pm, Friday 24th May. It will air live from Media City UK and will be packed with book fun, authors, and a Biggest Book Club world record attempt.  

 Councillor John Hacking, Executive Member for Skills Employment and Leisure, said: “We are thrilled to be hosting this exciting book event alongside our partners in the iconic Central Library. The book club is a magnificent initiative to inspire a love of reading and creativity to get our children engaged and excited by books. This launch event is one that families with young children will not want to miss.” 

Sarah Muller, BBC Senior Head of Commissioning 7+, said: "We're thrilled to harness the power of the Blue Peter brand to inspire children to read for pleasure. By meeting them in their communities through our partnership with Manchester Libraries and The Reading Agency's nationwide reach, we aim to make reading feel fun, accessible and relevant to all kids."  

Karen Napier MBE, CEO, The Reading Agency, said: “The Reading Agency is delighted to be partnering with Blue Peter and Manchester Libraries on this exciting new initiative to inspire children's love of reading. Blue Peter Book Club Live will bring the magic of books and storytelling to life and we hope it will spark curiosity and imagination in young readers in Manchester and across the whole country." 

Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said: “Enabling children and young people to enjoy creative and culture experiences is a priority for the Arts Council and The Blue Peter Book Club Live is a great opportunity for them to discover the joy of reading in their local community. I’m pleased that we are supporting the project through our National Lottery Project Grants programme to fund some exciting activities for families across Manchester and I’m really looking forward to attending the celebration event at Manchester Central Library. 


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